All Things Entertaining and Cultural

2019 Philadelphia Theater Critic’s Awards — The Qualifiers

In 2019, I saw and ranked 138 theater productions in the Philadelphia area, which I define as being from New Brunswick, N.J. to Wilmington, Delaware.,

These shows range from national tours of Broadway hits such as “Hamilton” and “Come From Away” to do-it-yourself productions at community theaters.

You’d be surprised. Sometimes the humble and homegrown outshines the lavish and polished. Sometimes shows that were overproduced in their original staging make more sense have greater effect when done more simply and subtly. Last year, meaning 2018, the Arden production of “Fun Home” and the Media production of “Next to Normal’ brought that possibility home. I was never a fan of either piece but liked them so much in what turned to be a more basic but more direct form, they ranked as nominees for the Philadelphia Theater Critic’s Award.

Notice the apostrophe. I am the lone Philadelphia critic who decides this. I have been ranking plays and making Awards lists since I first started going to the theater in 1967. I chose such a grand name as a joke, but I like the joke, and by now, I’ve announced the qualifiers, nominees, and recipients every season for more than 50 years.

Elsewhere on this site is a list of all the recipients from Carol Lawrence in 1967 to Krissy Fraelich in 2018.

By habit, the Philadelphia Theater Critic’s Award lists follow the calendar year rather than the theater season. That means parts of two seasons are covered.

In this article, I will list the qualifiers, meaning every show, performer, and director considered for a possible award as I was updating the list, which happens throughout the year as I attend shows.

Already, four shows are ranked for 2020, and it would be fine with me if three of them ended up among the nominees next year.

Let’s deal with this year, or 2019, first.

The lists are already ranked, so in a few days, the nominees, the five top placers in six categories, will be posted. A few days after that, the recipients of the 2019 Philadelphia Theater Critic’s Award will be announced. With them will be a list of the Top 40 is each category.

It all goes to show how many people it takes to put on a play and how dedicated the hundreds on this list are to their art, craft, and profession.

Here we go.


BEST PRODUCTION (138) — An Act of God, Always…Patsy Cline, Among the Dead, Antony and Cleopatra, Awake and Sing, Becoming Dr. Ruth, Betty’s Summer Vacation, Bonnie and Clyde, Boycott Esther, The Bridges of Madison County, Café Puttanesca, Candide, The Christians, A Christmas Carol, A Christmas Carol, A Musical, City of Angels, Civil War Voices, Come Back Little Sheba, Come From Away, A Comedy of Tenors, Constellations, Crazy for You, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Da, Dance Nation, Dauphin Island, Deathtrap, Denis & Katya, Dial “M: for Murder, Dionysus Was Such a Nice Man, Dot, Dracula, The Bloody Truth, Dream Girl, An Enemy of the People, Eureka Day, Falsettos (11th Hour), Falsettos (PSF), The Few, Fiction, For Peter Pan on Her 70th Birthday, The Game of Love and Chance, Gatz, Gem of the Ocean, The Gifts of the Magi, Gloria: A Life, The God Project, The Gods of Comedy, Good Cuban Girls, The Great Leap, La Gringa, Hamilton, Heartland, Henry IV, Part One, Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, How a Boy Falls, How I Learned What I Learned, How to Catch Creation, An Iliad, In the Shadow of the Glen, Indecent, The Insanity of Mary Girard, Julius Caesar, Kalamazoo, Kate: The Unexamined Life, King Lear, The Last Days of Summer, L. Frank Baum’s “The Wizard of Oz,” The Last Match, Legally Blonde, Let Me Die, Little Red Robin Hood: A Panto, Looking Over the President’s Shoulder, The Love for Four Oranges, Mamma Mia, Le Marteau et La Faucille, Marvin’s Room, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Matilda, Mean Girls, Measure for Measure, Meteor Shower, Middletown, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (OP), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (PSF), Minors, Morir Sonyando, Mud Row, My Life on Diet, The Niceties, The Night Alive, Nina Simone: Four Women, Next to Normal, Nixon in China, A Number, An Oak Tree, Oleanna, Once, On Golden Pond, One Man Two Guv’nors, One November Yankee, Orlando, Our Town, The Outgoing Tide, Paul Robeson, The Playboy of the Western World, Private Lives, Ragtime, Reveille, Riders to the Sea, Romeo and Juliet, The Roommate, Saturday Night Fever, The Sea Voyage, Semele, 74 Seconds…To Judgment, She Loves Me, Shrek: The Musical, Skylight, A Small Fire, The Spongebob Show, Souvenir, Sunset Baby, The Sunshine Boys, Sweat, Tartuffe, There, This Is The Week That Is, The Three Musketeers, The Three Sisters, The Tinker’s Wedding, Tiny Beautiful Things, Too Heavy for Your Pocket, Topdog/Underdog, The Torch Bearers, Woman and Scarecrow, Yerman, Young Frankenstein, Youth


BEST ACTOR (82) — Adam Altman, Sean Anderson, Keith Baker, Jerrald Bennett, Neal Bledsoe, Jake Blouch, Damon Bonetti, Walter Briggs, Jim Broyles, Pearce Bunting, John Cannon, Richard Chan, Sean Close, Jesse Corbin, Owen Corey, Andrew Criss, Nathan Darrow, Matt DeAngelis, Kevin DeJesus-Jones, Cameron DelGrosso, Anthony Diaz, Ben Dibble, Gerald Charles Dickens, John Dossett, Joseph Drouet, Gabriel Elmore, Frank Ferrante, Jim Fletcher, Danny Gardner, Nkrumah Gatling, Greg Goodbrod, Cooper Grodin, Harry Hamlin, SJ Hannah, Johnnie Hobbs, Jr., Jack Hoffman, Theo Hoffman, Jim Hogan, Robert Jason Jackson, Jonathan Johnson, Joseph Keckler, James Kern, Kesserack, Anthony Lawton, Julian Emile Lerner, Tim Mead, Tommy MacDonnell, Daniel Miller, Scott Miller, Tim Moyer, David C. Neal, Austin Nedrow, James Nester, Steve Pacek, Nichalas L. Parker, Lorenzo Pugliese, Travis Raeburn, Jared Reed, Michael Rosas, Nathaniel J. Ryan, Steven Rishard, Matteo Scammell, Scott Shepherd, Alek Shrader, Anthony J. Sigala, Robert Smythe, C. Luke Soucy, Nathaniel Stampley, Count Stovall, JD Taylor, Tom Teti, Sean Thompson, Bobby Conte Thornton, Josh Tower, Edred Utomi, Danny Vaccaro, Carl Wallnau, Brandon Walters, Brian Anthony Wilson, Greg Wood, Stephen Wright, John Zak


BEST ACTRESS (79) — Sydney Amos, Lisa Banes, Jessica Bedford, Carla Belver, Lorenza Bernasconi, Jordan Boatman, Maeve Brady, Tina Brock, Katherine Brunner, Carter Calvert, Taysha Marie Canales, Kim Carson, Natalie Carter, Rita Castagna, Jennifer Childs, Viveca Chow, Anna Christy, Marisol Custudio, Jessica DalCanton, Michelle Dawson, Kristen Devine, Cordelia Dewdney, Jennie Eisenhower, Mariah Rose Faith, Amanda Forsyth, Olivia Gilliatt, Sarah Gliko, Victoria Aaliyah Goins, Grace Gonglewski, Sarah Heddins, Stephanie Hodge, Brittany Holdahl, Suli Holum, Claire Inie-Richards, E. Ashley Izard, Jessica Johnson, Mahira Kakkar, Leigha Kato, Emilie Krause, Melody Ladd, Jean Lehman, Mackenzie Lesser-Roy, Marsha Mason, Sara Masterson, Drucie McDaniel, Megan McDermott, Mary McDonnell, Siena Licht Miller, Erin Morley, Bebe Neuwirth, Bi Jean Ngo, Alison Ormsby, Shadana Patterson, Maria Peyremaure, Hayley Podschun, Stefanie Powers, Sabrina Profitt, Kirsten Quinn, Renee Richman-Weisband, Nikkole Salter, Marcia Saunders, Janis Stevens, Susan Riley Stevens, Sally Struthers, Sarah Stryker, Jennifer Summerfield, Renee Taylor, Nondumiso Tembe, Mary Tuomanen, Julia Udine, Shay Vawn, Donna Vivino, Danielle Wade, Kim Wayans, Amy Weintraub, Regina Marie Williams, Renika Williams, April Woodall, Zuhairah


BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR (334) — Nat Adderley, Jr., Oge Agulué, Hasani Allen, Adam Altman, Zachary Altman, Freddy Amill, Dexter Anderson, Chris Anthony, Xavier Antoine-Brown, Kevin Aoussou, Jose Avilés, Debo Balogun, Jonathan Bangs, Barry Banks, Curtis Bannister, Marcus Barainyak, David Bardeen, Joseph Barron, P.J. Barth, John Basiulis, Alex Bechtel, Kevin Bergen, Kabir Bery, Ross Beschler, Andrew Betz, Danny Binstock, Peter Bisgaier, Malcolm Bishop, Bryan Black, Jake Blouch, Damon Bonetti, Luke Bradt, John E. Brady, Jacob Brandt, Will Branner, Kelly Briggs, Ethan Broitman, Benjamin Brown, Kirk Wendell Brown, Bryan Bruce, William Burden, Brandon Edward Burton, Will Burton, Paul Caliendo, Ian Campayno, Kevin Carolan, Adante Carter, Eric Carter, Zachary J. Chiero, Steven Ciapanna, Dwayne Clark, Harter Clingman, Sean Close, Derrick Cobey, Alec Cohen, Daniel Colòn, Keith Conallen, Desmond Confoy, Will Stephen Connell, Scott Conner, Steve Connor, Bradley Cooper, Owen Corey, Lee Cortopassi, Christopher Coucill, Liam Craig, Andrew Criss, Vincent Crocilla, Anthony Crosby, Sabatino Cruz, Robert Cucuzza, Jordan Dallam, Taylor N. Daniels, Akeem Davis, Michael Dees, Peter DeLaurier, Ben Dibble, Harold Dietrich, Oliver Donahue, Matt Donzella, Parker Drown, Nick Duckart, Clifton Duncan, Jay Dunn, J.P. Dunphy, Bjorn DuPaty, Tomas Dura, Dylan Blau Edelstein, Sean Eliser, Tyler Elliott, Brandon Ellis, Trevor William Fayle, Kyle Fennie, Chamblee Ferguson, Chris Fluck, Nathan Foley, Carlos Forbes, Jamison Foreman, Brady Fritz, Michael Fuchs, Jerry Gallagher, Keith J. Gallagher, Patrick Garr, D.J. Gleason, Kash Goins, Andrew Gooden, Philip Goodwin, Dakota Granados, Scott Greer, Paul Guerin, Joel Guerrero, Patrick Guette, Scott Guthrie, Armando Gutierrez, Joe Guzmán, Leonard C. Haas, Robi Hager, Chandre Hall-Broomfield, Ryan Halsaver, Adam Hammet, Doug Hara, Rob Hargraves, Grant Harrison, Paul Hebron, J Hernandez, Tim Hill, Jonathan Hirsch, Josh Hitchens, Dan Hodge, Adam Howard, Adam Hoyak, Eric Huffman, Evan Hughes, Michael Hunscaker, David Ingram, Gregory Isaac, Michael Isaac, Tyler Ivey, Dave Jadico, Justin Jain, Patrick James, Zachary James, Travoye Joiner, Dave Johnson, James Earl Jones II, Michael Karlya, Ronnie Keller, David Kenner, Dan Kern, Malik Abdul Khaaliq, Floyd King, Mark Knight, Vin Knight, Zoran Kovcic, Benjamin Krumreig, Aaron Landsman, Scott Langdon, Joseph Langham, Mark Lazar, Sonny Leo, Devin Lewis, Michael Liebhauser, Will Liverman, Terrance Livingston, Jake Lowenthal, Justin Lujan, Gary Lumpkin, Ethan Lynch, Eli Lynn, Thane Madsen, Graeme Malcolm, Adam Mandala, Justin Mark, Anthony Martinez-Briggs, Jamie Maseda, Matthew Mastronardi, Connor May, Brian McCann, Jonathan McCullough, Timothy McDevitt, Paul McElwee, Javon McFerrin, Daniel McGlaughlin, William R. McHattie, Michael McInerney, Jered McLenigan, Garrett McLeod, Brian McManus, Tim Mead, Kevin Meehan, Daniel L. Melo, Jayce Meredith, C.J. Miller, Daniel Miller, Matthew Lloyd Miller, Eric Mills, Micah Jeremiah Mims, Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton, Michael Dean Morgan, Christopher Morriss, Don Most, Tyler Motlasz, Bradley Mott, Christopher Patrick Mullen, Kevin John Murray, Miles Mykkannen, Sam Nagel, Luke Naphat, Frank Nardi, Jr., Paul L. Nolan, Stephen Novelli, Dan Olmstead, Dana Orange, Brad Oscar, Zane Pais, Henry Parker, Nichalas L. Parker, Andy Paterson, Ian Merrill Peakes, Owen Pelesh, Christopher J. Perugina, Justin Philips, David Pica, Brandon J. Pierce, Lawrence Pressman, Gavin Price, Fran Prisco, Matt Provencal, George Psomas, Jackson Purdy, Matthew Patrick Quinn, William Rahill, Justin Ramos, Zummy Rayan, Jared Reed, Pax Resler, André Revels, Roger Ricker, Allen Lewis Rickman, Steven Rishard, Adam Ritter, Colin Rivell, Eric Robinson, Jr., Skip Robinson, Buzz Roddy, Victor Rodriguez, Jr, Michael Rogers, Matthew Rose, Alex Rosen, Daniel Rowan, Marshall Roy, John Rubinstein, Eric Rupp, Brenton Ryan, Peter Saide, Ben Salus, Andrew Samansky, Bill Sander, Dominic Sannelli, Ray Saraceni, Michael Satow, Nicholas Savarine, Bo Sayre, Michael Scaldone, Matteo Scammell, Paul Schoeffler, Cameron Schutza, Luverne Seifer, Jacob Shapiro, Ben Sheppard, Jason Silverman, Luke Simon, Lindsay Smiling, Brian Michael Smith, Carl Nathaniel Smith, Donnell E. Smith, Graham Smith, James Conrad Smith, Peter Matthew Smith, Robert Smythe, Liam Snead, George Somerville, Luigi Sottile, Sav Souza, Andy Spinosi, Don Stephenson, Browning Sterner, Lee Stover, Elliott Styles, Paul Oakley Stovall, Grant Struble, Yousof Sultani, Mark Swift, Tyler Tejada, Jahzeer Terrell, Tom Teti, Sean Thompson, Jacob Tischler, Andy Tofa, Michael Toner, Will T. Travis, Rob Tucker, Jay V., Danny Vaccaro, Vishal Vaidya, Joseph Valle-Hoag, Bill Van Horn, Sean Vermiere, John Viscardi, Kevin Vortmann, Ben Wager, Brandon Walters, André Ward, Christopher Waters, Parker Weathersbee, JD Webster, Bob Weick, Ben Jalosa Williams, Brian Anthony Williams, Julius Williams, Mekhi Williams, Greg Wood, Landon G. Woodson, Bowman Wright, Steven Wright, Zachary Wyatt, Shpend Xani, Miltos Yerolemou, Daniel Youngelman, Jhalil-Marquis Younger, William Zielinski, Adrian Zmed


BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS (254) — Joniece Abbott-Pratt, Eunice Akinola, Laurena Allan, Alissa Anderson, Tamara Della Anderson, Krista Apple, Marika Aubrey, Demetria Joyce Bailey, Joanna Bak, Becky Ann Baker, Tiffani Barbour, Sophia Barrett, Kaylie Mariah Batista, Kala Moses Baxter, Gabrielle Beckford, Mary Lee Bednarek, Nicole Benoit, Lindsey Blevin, Linnea Bond, Kathleen Borrelli, Felicia Boswell, Amanda Lynn Bottoms, Neena Boyle, Miche Braden, Kassy Bradford, Marcie Bramucci, Hannah Brannau, Rachel Brennan, Taylor Broadard, Tina Brock, Kendra Broom, Sarah Brophy, Rachel Camp, Taysha Marie Canales, Jessie Cannizzaro, Xhanet Capani, Teresa Castillo, Eileen Cella, Jenn Chandler, Veronica Chapman-Smith, Kimberley Chatterjee, Arianna Chouhan, Hannah Chomiczewski, Sy Chounchaisit, Emma Clinch, Taylor Congdon, Didi Conn, Hannah Cruz, Jessica DalCanton, Eleni Delopoulos, Tsebiyah Mishael Derry, Kaisey Edwards, Jennie Eisenhower, Alexandra Espinosa, Kimberly Fairbanks, Hannah Fairman, Anna Ferrigno, Kelly Filios, Melanye Finister, Mary Fishburne, Elizabeth Flanagan, Lucy Fletcher, Melissa Fuhr, Leah Gabriel, Hanna Gaffney, Talley Gale, Madeleine Garcia, Susan Giddings, Laura Giknis, Casey Elizabeth Gill, Gaelen Gillibrand, Mierka Girten, Gillian Glasco, Sarah Gliko, Marybeth Gorman, Denyce Graves, Danielle Lee Greaves, Shea-Mikall Green, Tiara Greene, Megan Masako Haley, Donnie Hammond, Eleanor Handley, Wendy Brynn Harmer, Carmillia Harris, Joilet F. Harris, Kai Heath, Lindsay Hockaday, Kelsey Hodgkiss, Maggie Hoffman, Anita Holland, Suli Holum, Katie Horner, Susannah Hughes, Mylinda Hull, Dana Ivey, E. Ashley Izard, Georgia Jarman, Christine Joy Johnson, Jessica Johnson, Julie Johnson, Chelsea Ann Jones, Mina Kawahara, Julia Knitel, Rainelle Krause, Melody Ladd, Teri Lamm, Steffanie Lee, Danielle Lenée, Natalie Levin, Ginna LeVine, Tori Lewis, Lily Lexer, Joanna Liao, Angela Longo, Brianna Lopez, Kate Loprest, Eli Lynn, Mary Lyon, Daniela Mack, Daniela Malavé, Kathryn Ann Marie, Tanaquil Márquez, Mary Martello, Gracie Martin, Amanda Raquel Martinez, Lindsey Matheis, April Mathis, Regan McCall, Barbara McCulloh, Megan McDermott, Jessica McDonald, Allison McHardy, Susan McKey, Terra McLeod, Annie McNamara, Bridget McNiff, Deborah Lynn Meier, Abby Melick, Shauna Miles, Cary Michele Miller, Kathryn Miller, Siena Licht Miller, Lee Minora, Mary Kate Morrissey, Susan Moses, Carey Mulligan, Kimie Muroya, Patrena Murray, Keira Naughton, Michelle Navin, Bi Jean Ngo, Charlotte Northeast, Teresa Nutter, Arisa Odaka, Campbell O’Hare, Barbaraluz Orlanda, K. O’Rourke, Sarah Palmatory, Yajaira Paredes, Claris Park, Ilia Isorelys Paulina, Karen Peakes Christine Pedi, Jenna Pinchbeck, Olivia Pirrone, Minou Pourshariati, Kathleen Pracht, Olivia Puckett, Ebony Pullum, Catherine Purcell, Anna Pysher, Kirsten Quinn, Alyssa Ramsey, Melissa Rapelje, Justine Rappaport, Joël Rene, Layla Reyes, Jane Ridley, Jessica Riloff, Tavia Rivée, Rebecca Robbins, Amanda Jill Robinson, Brett Ashley Robinson, Diana Rodriguez, Alicia Roper, Bailey Roper, Krystal Rosa, Megan Ruggles, Melissa Sabater, Jess V. Salerno, Isabelle Santiago, Nazli Sarpkaya, Marcia Saunders, Jonalyn Saxer, Sharone Sayegh, Mary Elizabeth Scallen, Julianne Schaub, Amanda Schoonover, Maren Schriver, Michaela Schuchman, Natajia Sconiers, Terran Scott, Sarah Shafer, Kyleen Shaw, Cathy Simpson, Stacy Skinner, Catharine K. Slusar, Shayna Small, Alanna J. Smith, Sav Souza, Allison Spann, Tina Stafford, Monica Steuer, Susan Riley Stevens, Tiffany Rachelle Stewart, Erica Stone, Lisa Strum, Sarah Stryker, Jennifer Summerfield, Georgiana Summers, Grace Tarves, Candace Thomas, Danielle K. Thomas, Johanna Tolentino, Tiffany Townsend, Meg Trelease, Saori Tsukada, Mary Tuomanen, Stephanie Umoh, Serena Vesper, Lisa VillaMil, Natalie Wachen, Mary Pat Walsh, Lee Walton, Audrey Ward, Dreya Weber, Stephanie Weeks, Susan Wefel, Chamari White-Mink, Teal Wicks, Cindy Williams, Brenda Withers, April Woodall, Hanna Wolff, Eunice Wong, Lauren Wright, Faith Yesner, Jennifer Nasta Zefutie, Julianna Zinkel, Jeslyn Zubrycki, Zuhairah


BEST DIRECTOR (105) — Charles Abbott, Abigail Adams, Elena Araoz, Christopher Ashley, Susan D. Atkinson, José Avilés, Dylan Baker and Paul Mullins, Keith Baker, Eliza Baldi, Emmanuelle Bastet after Robert Carsen, Annika Bennett, Jesse Bernstein, Peter Bisgaier, Deborah Block, Joseph Bologna, Margot Bordelon, David Bradley, Tony Braithwaite, Steve Broadnax III, Tina Brock, Alexander Burns, Jeff Calhoun, Anna Marie Cammarato, Joe Canuso, Glenn Casale, David Catlin, Jesse Cline, John Collins, Lee Cortopassi, James Darrah, Matthew Decker, Amanda Dehnert, Colman Domingo, C. Ryanne Domingues, Mike Donahue, Dann Dunn, Jennie Eisenhower, Bill Fennelly, Frank Ferrante, Hayley Finn, David Galligan, Nataki Garrett, M. Craig Getting, Marcus Giamatti, Elizabeth Gimbel, Maeri Goren, Julien Gosselin, Seth Greenleaf, Travis Greisler, Neill Hartley, Dan Hodge, Eleanor Holdridge, Ted Huffman, James Ijames, Marshall Jones III, Thomas Kail, Ellen W. Kaplan, David Kellett, Daniel Krane, Maura Krause, Steven LaCosse, Gina Lamparella, Trey Lyford, Adam Maggio, Emily Mann, Debi Marcucci, Tanaquil Márquez, Mark Martino, Charles McMahon, Peg Mecham, Kevin Newbury, Casey Nicholaw, Terrence J. Nolen, Megan Nicole O’Brien, Evren Odcikin, Dan O’Neil, Kittson O’Neill, Malika Oyetimein, Lori Elizabeth Parquet, Matt Pfeiffer, Harriet Power, Tom Quinn, Joshua Ravitch, Tom Reing, Peter Reynolds, Amina Robinson, Seth Rozin, Mariangela Saavedra, Pete Sander, Joanie Schultz, Kimberly Senior, Dominique Serrand, Max Shulman, Robert Smythe, Edward Sobel, Richard Stafford, Alessandro Talevi, Matt Tallman, John Tartaglia, Jo Twiss, Bill Van Horn, L.A. Williams, Rebecca Wright, Blanka Zizka


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